Coasters’ boss is ready to make history

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor

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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor knows just 90 minutes of football separates his side from achieving the biggest honour in the club’s history.

The Coasters go into this weekend’s game against Boston United knowing three points will be enough to clinch the National League North title.

Challinor is well aware of what it would mean for the club but called on his players to do what was required to get it over the line.

“It would be massive,” he said. “It’s a huge weekend for us because we know it would be the biggest achievement in the club’s history.

“Everyone’s worked so hard to get it as well. We’re really close now but we still know the biggest hurdle still needs to be jumped and that’s getting over that line.

“We expect a really tough game. We’ll have to dig in and fight for every ball but the potential prize at the end of it is massive.”

Challinor’s men could have wrapped up the title had they won last weekend and had other results gone their way, but they were only able to draw 1-1 at home to Bradford Park Avenue while title rivals Kidderminster Harriers beat Altrincham.

However, one point is better than none with substitute Matty Blinkhorn rescuing a draw with a 97th minute equaliser.

Challinor added: “It wasn’t the result we were looking for. It was an opportunity to claim the title but we didn’t do that.

“But getting a point means it’s solely in our hands on Saturday and if we take care of what we need to then we can win it.

“We have turned it around from losing positions quite a few times this season.

“It is down to keeping going and doing the right things.

“We are a fit team and a lot of people will look at how we’ve gone full-time. Does that have a bearing on it? You’d probably have to say it does.”

This weekend’s opponents Boston were astonishingly beaten 9-2 at Mill Farm earlier in the season, but since then the Pilgrims have turned it around under the guidance of new boss Adam Murray, who has guided them to safety.

“Adam has gone there and turned them round,” Challinor said.

“The game at home, I wouldn’t say it was a freak game because we played really well and we could have had more goals than we did, but it’s a different challenge now.

“It will be completely different playing them away as well and we know it will be a difficult pitch so we know we’re going to have to roll our sleeves up and really battle and fight for the three points.”

Midfielder Sam Finley serves the last game of his suspension following his sending off against FC Halifax Town on Good Friday.

Meanwhile James Hardy will also be missing with an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season.